|Old Canal Boat in Metamora, Indiana|
We are absolutely spoiled!! In this day and age, we can be across the country in just a few hours (~ if you don't count sitting in airports on layovers! LOL) and across the pond to London in 1/2 a day.
When most of us start looking up the old family tree, we usually just want to start getting names and dates on paper. But after a while, you really start getting interested in their stories. What made them leave the old country? How did they get to America? What would make you leave your home in Maryland, and start over in a brand new state named Indiana? How did you get here?
This last question has crossed my mind lately as I research several of my lines. I have traced them back to Maryland, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania and other points along the Atlantic Coast. My husband is lucky enough to have a journal in his possession that his ancestor wrote from his life in Denmark all the way through his trek across the country to Utah in the 1830's. So, he has written proof in the trials and tribulations of cross-country travel in pioneer times.
I have found no such diary or accounts of how many of my ancestors settled in the Midwest. So, the next best thing that I could do is just plain research on how most of these areas were settled. For example, I discovered that the National Road was completed from Maryland to Wheeling, West Virginia in the year 1818. This is the exact year that my ancestor, Adam Moore, left Maryland and arrived in Indiana. Wheeling is set along the Ohio River, which then runs all the way to the Mississippi River. Adam could easily have taken the National Road to Wheeling, where he then traveled on the Ohio River with his family to Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Just a few more miles down the road and he was able to settle the town that still bears his name, Moores Hill.
So, I ask you...how did your family get settled where they did? Conestoga wagon, canal boat, railroad, river travel...or a combination of all of these? We all have stories...what is yours? I would love to hear your family's story!!!